Carlisle's Craig Curran was praised by manager Greg Abbott following his man-of-the-match display at the weekend.
Curran, a free transfer signing from Tranmere last summer, struck twice in the 4-1 home win over Colchester, but Abbott has been impressed with the 21-year-old over a much longer period.
Abbott said: "We're very happy for Craig because he deserves that. I think everyone in the stadium was willing him on to get his hat-trick because he has been excellent for us this past six or seven weeks.
"He works really hard for the team and the reaction of the crowd to his man-of-the-match announcement was a little pat on the back for him."
Abbott added that his side, who lifted the Johnstone's Paint Trophy earlier this month, were looking to win all their remaining matches.
He said: "There are four games left for us now and the aim is as it always has been, to get a maximum return. That won't be easy because other teams will be trying to do the same, but we'll certainly go out there trying to win."